Its opponents meet the doctrine of Imputation, to which we have thus arrived with the following objections. In discussing them, we are to remember that a truth revealed in Scripture may have claims to our belief, in spite of difficulties to us insoluble. Yet it is hoped that examination will show the objections in question to rest either upon false philosophical principles or upon misconception of the doctrine assailed.
A. That there can be no sin apart from and prior to consciousness.
This we deny. The larger part of men?s evil dispositions and acts are imperfectly conscious, and of many such dispositions and acts the evil quality is not discerned at all. The objection rests upon the assumption that law is confined to published statutes or to standards formally recognized by its subjects. A more profound view of law, as identical with the constituent principles of being, binding the nature to conformity with the nature of God, demanding right volition only because these are manifestations of a right state and having claims upon men in their corporate capacity, deprives this objection of all its force.
If our aim is to find a conscious act of transgression upon which to base God?s charge of guilt and man?s condemnation, we can find this more easily in Adam?s sin than at the beginning of each man?s personal history for no human being can remember his first sin. The main question at issue is therefore this: is all sin personal? We claim that both Scripture and reason answer this question in the negative. There is such a thing as race- sin and race-responsibility.
B. That man cannot be responsible for a sinful nature, which he did not personally originate.
We reply that the objection ignores the testimony of conscience and of Scripture. These assert that we are responsible for what we are. The sinful nature is not something external to us, but is our inmost selves. If man?s original righteousness and the new affection implanted in regeneration have
How are men saved? example. with the
Spirit given to all influences of truth presented by the Spirit righteous through the act of Christ possessors of a new nature in Christ.
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